David Kinker – Makes Art to get you out on the water.

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Kinker is a Bend legend: he one of the most well respected kayakers and rafters in the boating community and is also an incredible visual artist. You may have seen his work in the Tower Theatre, murals that line the walls and bathrooms of the balcony, paying homage to the theatre’s Art Deco roots. Or you may be familiar with the backdrop at Silver Moon Brewing, a mural that perfectly blends breathtaking scenery with a little psychedelia.

Kinker has recently signed on to the PLACE:TWELVE program set up by Bend’s Arts, Beautification and Culture Commission. Artists create a piece of art inspired by a historical photograph that is indicative of Bend’s past, but that also that inspires the future. The art he creates will hang for three months on the walls of Bend’s City Hall, from May 6 – July 28, 2011.

Kinker chose the classic Mill-era photo of the “pond monkey,” (pictured below) for his piece. In this photograph the short, very Irish-looking Dan McClealen stands on huge logs floating down the river, keeping the logs from clogging up the supply to the mill. In this photo, he is right upstream from Tumalo Creek. The pond monkey was known as one of the most agile workers of the mill, but many of them still could not swim.

The pond monkey inspired visions for Kinker of the present day Stand Up Paddleboarder, often seen on this section of the Deschutes. Down the river of time in Bend’s future, a whitewater play park is planned where the Colorado Bridge crosses the Deschutes. This park, which has been one of the primary goals of the Bend Paddle Trail Alliance for eight years, would feature a place for tubers to float through, a few man made waves for SUPers and kayakers and a restored habitat for riparian wildlife.

Kinker’s piece will trace Bend’s story of economic success, from cattle to lumber to tourism. Bend’s economic growth in the last two decades has relied primarily on the bountiful opportunities for recreation in the outdoors. David hopes that this “past, present, and future” rendition of the Old Mill will further inspire enthusiasm and support for the Colorado Bridge transformation.